A 14-year-old girl near Salem in Tamil Nadu was beheaded by her neighbour on Monday. The incident took place in Thalavaipatti near Aathur in Salem district.
Thirty-year-old Dinesh Kumar and his wife Saradha lived in Therkukkadu area of Thalavaipatti. Dinesh Kumar works as a machine operator in a nearby rice mill, while Saradha is a homemaker. It is in the same area that another couple Samivelu and Chinnapponnu lived with their 14-year-old daughter Rajalakshmi. Rajalakshmi was a Class 9 student in a government school near their house.
On Monday evening, at around 7.30pm, Chinnapponnu and Rajalakshmi were in their house stringing flowers together when Dinesh Kumar allegedly entered their house with a sickle. Seeing him in a fit of rage and with a weapon in his hand, Chinnapponnu allegedly tried to block him from advancing further. He is said to have pushed her aside and allegedly beheaded Rajalakshmi in front of her motherâ€™s eyes.
Dinesh then allegedly picked up the head and stormed out of the house, flung it far away from the house and ran to his house. The locals on hearing Chinnapponnuâ€™s wails saw the headless body of her daughter and alerted the police. The police reached the spot, secured the body and sent it for autopsy to the Aathur government hospital.
Speaking to TNM about the incident, a senior police officer said that the motive behind the murder has not yet been established. The police are looking at various angles including whether the murder was a caste crime.
â€śWe have secured the accused and have registered an FIR against him under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act since Dinesh is from a dominant caste (Mudhaliyar) and the victim belonged to Scheduled Caste. We have also registered a case under section 302 (Murder) of the IPC,â€ť he said, requesting anonymity.
The police official also added that the accused has a history of being aggressive and this was alleged by many others in the locality.
â€śWe are yet to get any answers from him since he has not spoken anything since the murder. Prima facie, it doesnâ€™t seem like a sexual crime, since there was no other bodily injuries on the victim other than the cut on her neck. This has been confirmed in the autopsy as well. In fact, both families were friendly till the incident happened, as far as preliminary inquiries tell us,â€ť he said.